RECENT correspondence has suggested that the outcome of the referendum will have no effect on nature conservation and the environment.

The history of nature conservation in this country is almost entirely about the efforts of individuals and voluntary organisations.

Our national government has seldom made a positive contribution and only under extreme and prolonged pressure.

I see no reason to suppose this attitude will change following the referendum.

Our membership of the EU has brought a number of directives that place responsibilities on our government to give proper consideration to wildlife and the environment when taking decisions that may effect them and also to take steps to improve the quality of the environment where it falls below target levels.

The voluntary conservation organisations have made it clear to their members that these EU directives are regarded as essential to the conservation of UK wildlife.

They have also made clear that wildlife conservation is an international rather than a national issue - many of our birds and marine wildlife are migratory - and are concerned that if the UK is no longer part of the EU this will weaken the ability to protect migratory species.

Unless the UK government can be trusted to make a radical shift in their attitude to wildlife conservation and the environment, a vote to leave the EU represents a

major setback to the conservation of wildlife both in the UK and abroad.

P J Blenkiron

Greenhill Gardens